Thursday, March 24, 2011

You seriously couldn't wait until AFTER you were done peeing? Seriously?!!!

Last night, I met a girlfriend at a local bar for a beverage. (This is a rare and wonderful occurrence, which always reminds me that I am more than a wife/mother/counselor. I am also a somewhat sassy, frequently funny, often obnoxiously opinionated woman, who is actually capable of carrying on a conversation that is not about kids, husbands, housework, or mental health issues.) Anyway, at some point during our blissful evening away from all domestic and work responsibilities, I had to pee. So, I went into my stall, and I was getting ready to do my thing, when I heard the bathroom door squeak open and the sound of high heels click-clicking across the floor. The stall door next to me opened up, and I could hear the unseen lady getting settled on her seat...

Then, I heard her punching numbers into her cell phone...

Then, I heard her start yakking to somebody on the other end...

THEN, I heard her peeing. Yes, people, yakking and peeing at the same time.

I'm sorry, but what could be so important to say, that you couldn't wait a couple of minutes, until you're at least done peeing?!!! I mean, COME ON! Is there no limit to the madness???

So, to any of my friends who may be out there reading this... PLEASE pee before you call me or answer a call from me. Nothing we have to say to each other is so crucial that it can't wait until after you've answered the call of nature.


Friday, March 18, 2011

I'll show you mine, if you show me yours!

Parenthood is just one giant adventure. Unexpected events happen constantly, from bus disasters to more bus disasters to stuffed animal catastrophes...just one big surprise after another...after another...after another. Guess what? We had another one last night. Lucky us!

The phone rang about 7:30pm. Hubby was doing something on the computer (of course!), Foster was running around in his pj's looking for leprechauns, Spence was in the tub, and I was attempting to lie down for a few minutes before storytime. I heard a deep voice on the answering machine, and I suddenly realized it was the principal from the boys' school. Calling at 7:30 at night. There's just no way a nighttime phone call from your kids' principal can be good!

I yelled for John to answer the phone, and then flew down the hallway, so that I could hover near him, listening to his side of the conversation and anxiously trying to piece together what was happening. I couldn't tell which kid it was about, but I heard things like "On the bus?!!", "Last Thursday?", "No, he didn't say anything to us about it.", "Oh yes, definitely inappropriate.", "Yes, he knows that private parts are private.", "Was the parent upset?"


As it turns out, yesterday afternoon, a parent called the principal to tell him that her child had seen some first graders showing eachother "their butts" on the school bus the week before. Her kid identified a first grade girl (the very same girl Spencer recently identified as his - gulp - girlfriend"). Of course, the alarmed parent immediately called the principal, worried that there was some sort of hanky panky going on. He interviewed the girl and found out that she had two accomplices....Spencer and his best friend. When he pulled Spence in to his office, Spencer was very upfront and honest about his participation. (The principal said he was having a hard time keeping a straight face, because Spence was so serious and apologetic.) Apparently, all three kids decided to check out each other's parts, even though they knew they weren't supposed to. As if that wasn't bad enough, for some inexplicable reason, they thought that the school bus ride home was a good time and place to do it. And, according to both boys, the whole thing was the girl's idea! Wow. I hope her parents are ready...

Needless to say, we had another long conversation with both of our boys last night...Very serious. With no giggling on the part of the grownups (at least not until the boys were asleep, that is).

Another one for the memory books...


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Vindication for women and girls EVERYWHERE!

In a pitiful attempt to lessen the stress in my life, Friday night is always "Mommy Movie Night." This means that I do the typical frantic race across town after work to meet the boys' bus, but then we jump in the car, drive straight to Little Caesar's Pizza and order Combination #1 (large pepperoni plus crazy break, of course), then walk next door to the local video place to rent movies. The boys each get to pick one cartoon to watch sometime later in the week, and I pick out a family movie for us all to watch together. (Translation: A kid movie that I can stomach watching as well, usually a classic like "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" or "Bedknobs and Broomsticks" or "Doctor Doolittle" --  Not the crappy remake with Eddie Murphy, but the  classic with Rex Harrison and the Push-Me-Pull-You.) Then, the three of us pile the pizza, the movies, and ourselves back into the car, come home and change into pj's, I pour the boys some milk and myself a glass of cabernet, and we all settle in for a movie picnic. If we're lucky, and John's crazy schedule works out for us that day, it turns into a "Family Movie Night" with Daddy along for the ride. (Also in his pj's. PJ's are a requirement.)

Anyhoo ... (too late to make this long story a short one, eh?) ...

Last night, I chose "Harry and the Hendersons" for Mommy Movie Night. It actually turned into Mommy, Daddy, Grandma, and Grandpa Movie Night, because John's shift was an early one, and my folks came into town to visit us for the weekend. Yay! I admit that I did relax the pajama requirement for my folks, especially since my Mom is fond of wearing long, see-through nightgowns, and my Dad sleeps in his tighty whiteys.

So, after the Bigfoot has come into the house and totally trashed the joint, the movie Dad asks his movie kids how they know that the Bigfoot is a male, instead of a female.

That's when my little genius, Spencer, turned around and said, "Oh, it's easy to tell, you guys. It's 'cuz boys make huge messes all the time, but girls are much, much cleaner."



Saturday, March 5, 2011

No wonder women ignore the signs of a heart attack. How can we even tell the difference between a heart attack and just living life?

I had a pretty weird few days. I was at a work conference on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Sunday night, my chest was feeling sort of tight, like I was being gently squished, but it also felt like my diaphragm was being sort of squeezed upward. I’ve never had heartburn or indigestion, before, but I assumed that’s what it was. My hotel roommate gave me some of her tums, but it didn’t do anything. So, I just kept going at the conference. Still feeling the pressure, but it wasn’t anything that I couldn’t breathe through or work with. Eating didn’t make it any better or worse, and I didn’t have a fever or any other symptoms.

Then, on Thursday morning, I woke up with it really bugging me, then it started to sort of burn across my chest and up into my shoulder and neck a little bit, so I called my doctor. They sent me immediately to the Emergency Room. They ruled out an immediate heart attack pretty quickly, but they couldn’t figure out what was going on. I couldn’t reach the hubby, since he was driving a shift, so I was all alone, freaked out, while they did EKG’s and gave me nitroglycerine and baby aspirin and took blood and did other tests, etc., etc.. Because I have a left ventricular bundle branch block in my heart, it makes reading my EKG’s next to impossible, because they all come out looking wacko. With my strange health history – mini stroke, avascular necrosis, busted thyroid – they were afraid to just let me go, so they admitted me. This meant that I sat in the back corner of a cubicle in the ER for another hour or so, all alone, while they tried to find me a bed upstairs. Since I still hadn’t talked to John, I was trying to figure out who might be able to pick up the boys and get them settled, if necessary. I don’t have a cell phone, so I couldn’t call anybody just to keep me company or to get the ball rolling with a plan for the kids. The only phone in the ER was attached to the wall, and I was forbidden to get up and move around. On the plus side, I did get to listen to the drunk guy who’d just gotten in a car accident giving the nurses and attendants all kinds of trouble. It was pretty entertaining. Lots of cussing and threatening and thrashing going on. Then there were calls for "Technicians! Stat!", followed by the sound of clomping feet and deep voices and then more whining and crying from the patient, as he swore up and down that he'd sue every single person who was holding him down. I couldn’t see it, but I could hear it through the skinny little curtain. At least it took my mind off of things for a while. It was like listening to an episode of Grey's Anatomy, without being able to see the picture. Oh, and the other plus side to this whole situation, was that my ER doctor looked EXACTLY like the guy from the TV show Castle. I don’t know if you’ve seen that show, but the resemblance was uncanny. Could’ve been his twin brother. And that’s a good thing...I felt surprisingly calm staring into his warm, concerned, blue eyes.
Anyway, I got admitted upstairs, where they did another unreadable EKG, gave me more nitroglycerine, took more blood, and I can’t remember what else. I finally reached John, and he and my friend (who had gamely driven me to the ER earlier that morning) put their heads together to see if they could get the boys picked up and my van back from the school (staff members’ cars tend to get vandalized, when left in the school parking lot. Hmmmm..) Then, John was able to come and see me for just a little bit to bring me contact solution and pj’s and stuff like that. The on-call doc (not my gorgeous Castle doctor from the ER) explained that they still didn’t really know what was going on. They were going to try to see if there was something going on in my G.I. tract, since my heart seemed to be doing OK and my blood pressure was stable and fine. So, they made me drink the “G.I. Cocktail”, which was a horrendous pinkish white slushee, that I had to gulp down to see if it would numb my G.I. tract and give me some relief. All it did was make my tongue go numb. I still felt the pain and pressure on either side of my sternum, mostly left side. So, they just gave me morphine, put me back on oxygen, and kept me all night, waking me up to do the various vital checks all night long. In the morning, my nurse gave me valium, to see if it would lessen the pressure. It did take the edge off of the pain, and I didn’t feel like I was being squeezed quite as tightly. So, my doctor put his head together with my cardiologist and came up with this final diagnosis: Chest pain and severe pressure of unknown physical origin, most likely caused by too much ongoing stress. Then, I had to hear the whole anti-stress spiel (delivered in a tone so blatantly condescending it was like listening to fingernails being raked down a chalkboard) about taking time for myself, getting enough sleep and exercise, eating healthy, and making sure I take time to recover in-between stressful responsibilities. (How, exactly, is that supposed to happen? Have you ever been a full-time working mother with two little kids, no family resources anywhere nearby, and a husband who’s schedule means he’s never around? Huh? No? Then kindly shut up about giving myself recovery time in between stressful responsibilities, you officious little man! That is, unless you're offering to take some of my responsibilities off my plate. No? Not gonna take any of that on? Didn't think so.). Anyway, it was all the usual stuff. So, I got home last night, with a little bit of valium, which they want me to take when the pain and pressure are severe, just to take the edge off. Of course, I can’t take it, if I’m going to have to drive, and there's no way I would take it at work. Caffeine? Yes.Valium? No.

Anyway, I have a follow-up appointment with my doctor next doubt to discuss my stress levels some more and to hear one more person, who has NO idea what my lifestyle has really been like for the last 3 years, or the type of emotional and physical energy it requires to keep this family bumping along relatively smoothly with the schedule John works, tell me that I need to take it easy. I swear, if she smiles at me and says, “Sweetie, you’re really just not taking good enough care of yourself,” I will fly across the room and rip her head off!!! But, then I’d be guaranteed a nice, long rest in a psychiatric hospital, right? Oooooh, now there’s food for thought!